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Man who killed own mum while psychotic gets five years in jail

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 26-year-old who strangled his mother in the bedroom of their Portavogie home during a psychotic episode will spend at least five years in prison for her unlawful killing.

Viktors Arustamovs showed no emotion at Belfast Crown Court when he was handed the sentence by Mr Justice Treacy.

He killed his 52-year-old mother Lija Arustamovs in their Main Street home in the early hours of Saturday, December 12, 2015.

As he strangled her while she lay in bed, Arustamovs took a break, but resumed when he heard a voice in his head telling him: "If you start, you have to finish."

After listening to classical music and smoking cigarettes for around an hour, Arustamovs then called 999, confessing: "I think I killed my Mum... she just stopped breathing."

Sentencing the Latvian to serve a minimum of five years before he is eligible for release, Mr Justice Treacy said: "At the time of the killing the defendant ... unfortunately suffered from an untreated psychotic illness."

Following admissions made to officers at the scene, and during subsequent police interviews, Arustamovs admitted a charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

It was accepted that at the time of the unlawful killing Arustamovs was suffering from a psychotic episode that "in all likelihood" was precipitated by the use of drugs.

At an earlier hearing the court was told Arustamovs came to Northern Ireland in 2011 from Latvia, and had worked on fishing boats until 2015.

Crown prosecutor Ciaran Murphy QC said emergency services received a 999 call from Arustamovs at around 1.16am on Saturday, December 12, 2015, claiming he had killed his mother.

Paramedics found Ms Arustamovs lying in the bed with blood on both sides of her head.

A post-mortem the next day revealed she had been manually strangled.

During police interviews Arustamovs claimed that as his mother lay upstairs, he went up to watch TV with her, that he strangled her, then afterwards he sat and smoked cigarettes before calling 999.

He said they "argued all the time", and that when she was drinking she would get on his nerves. He also told police: "I took her by the throat and my heart started beating so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest."

In addition, Arustamovs said that when he had finished, a cold sensation went through his hands.

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